Berean Blog

Fear . . . Almost!

We're all afraid of something - whether we admit it or not. Sometimes, our fears are quite evident to those on the outside. Other times, we suppress them, facing them quietly while suffering the physical and emotional consequences on our own. Perhaps you're even facing a little fear as we approach the holidays again and a new year ahead with all its unknowns. But did you know the Bible commands us not to be afraid? In fact, some have said it's the most frequently quoted command in Scripture. But what do we do with this command repeated so many times? Read below for three things to remember the next time fear comes a-knockin'.

by Todd Johnson on December 12, 2023


When I was young, I never liked roller coasters. I was, and still am, definitely fearful of them. All those ups and downs, twists and turns coming at me so fast is not for me! You will not find me riding on them, and I don’t see that changing.

You may not fear roller coasters, but I bet you fear something. Did you know there are over 500 phobias? 

  • Acrophobia. The fear of heights.

  • Dentophobia. The fear of dentists.

  • Technophobia. The fear of technology. 

Maybe your fear isn’t unusual, like one of these. Perhaps you have a fear related to your health or someone you love. Or maybe you have a fear of something that is in the future, and the outcome is unknown. Perhaps you don’t think you’re fearful of anything - or at least don’t want to admit it. Many people have suppressed fear and suffer from its emotional and physical consequences. Being under stress (fear) can manifest itself in all kinds of physical ailments, as well as emotions.

The Bible commands us not to be afraid.

So – here is the “Bible answer” for fear: "Do not be afraid." Some have said it is the most frequently quoted command in Scripture. End of blog post, right? Eh, no. It’s easy to read and say but much more difficult to live out. Bob Newhart has a comedic scene in which he seeks to help a young woman eliminate her fear. Take a look HERE.  

Just 'Stop it!' is much easier to say than to do! 

The phrase “Do not be afraid” is found throughout the Bible. In Genesis 15, God told Abram, “Fear not,” when he told him to move to a new country. At the beginning of the New Testament, the angels appeared to the frightened shepherds, and the first thing the angels said was, “Fear not.” Jesus told the disciples, “Fear not.”


What do we do with this command repeated so many times?

In one of his blog posts, Randy Alcorn wrote: Unhealthy fear can be a symptom of a lack of eternal perspective.” He then quoted Ed Welch, who said, “Fears see only in part. They see that we might lose something dear to us, such as our money, our health, or the health of someone we love. They see the potential for loss with microscopic acuity. But they don’t see God’s presence, they don’t see his faithfulness to his promises, they don’t fixate on unseen realities but are dominated by what is merely seen with the naked eye."

"As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).

You may be familiar with Philippians 4:6: “. . . do not be anxious about anything.” It’s easy to quote and more difficult to live out. But have you ever noticed the words at the end of verse five immediately before that popular verse? They say, “. . . The Lord is at hand.” Robert Murray M’Cheyne wrote, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.”

"Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us" (Romans 8:34).   

In times of fear, we can find comfort and peace in remembering that Christ is near and interceding for us with the Father.

In times of fear, we must remember God is still faithful.

I reflect on 30+ years ago when I struggled with significant fears. There was fear of losing my mom to her battle with leukemia. I had taken a new job in Kansas City and feared my career was on the skids. My wife and I feared being unable to move back to Minnesota to friends and family who we missed.

During that time of significant fear, I came across Daniel 3:18: “But if not, be it known to you, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” I like the way the NIV translation begins: “But even if He does not . . . "

That was a pivotal time in my spiritual life. I prayed. I asked God and begged God.

I realized that even if he did not answer my prayers like I wanted, he was still God. He would be faithful. That was not going to change. 


In times of fear, we must run to God and his Word.

So, after discovering that verse in Daniel and praying to God, did I move forward without any fear? Well, not exactly. I still stressed and lost about 20 pounds that year. But even as I struggled, God was there (Philippians 4:5). While not every prayer was answered the way I wanted, I recognized that God was still God (Daniel 3:18). He loved me and my family far more than I could comprehend or understand. He was faithful.

I started to shift my focus away from my fears and towards God.

Especially in times of fear, we need to be in God's Word – to memorize it, meditate on it, and pray through it. These are a few of the many verses about God’s faithfulness that you could incorporate into your prayers in times of fear:

  • "Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds" (Psalm 36:5).

  • "To declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night" (Psalm 92:2).

  • "Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth and it stands fast" (Psalm 119:90).

  • "But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one" (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

  • "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23). 

In times of fear, we must allow our fellow believers to walk with us.

While Philippians 4:5 says that God is near to us, he also provides fellow believers to come alongside and support each other. Berean has over a dozen ministries that provide a fellow believer to come alongside you and “be God with skin on.”

Recently, I heard a pastor reference Daniel 3:18 (the verse I mentioned earlier). He noted that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are always mentioned together. Never separate. They were, in Pastor Roger’s frequent term, a “band of brothers.”

They were certainly in a situation that would generate fear, but they believed God was with them. They believed in his faithfulness and were there for one another, even if God did not save them.

As a new year approaches, remember these things . . .

A new year is just on the horizon. With that, there are many unknowns and opportunities for fear to creep in. Perhaps even in this busy season of Christmas leading up to the new year, you are facing some anxieties and uncertainties. How will everything get done? How will the holiday get-togethers go with our unbelieving family members? Will we get to share Jesus with them? How do we navigate this season as we mourn the loss of someone we love? What if our health doesn't improve as the doctor hopes?

When fear makes its way into your life – and it will – remember these three important things:

  • God is always near to you. He calls you to trust him and not to be afraid.

  • God is always faithful to you regardless of your situation.

  • God can use fellow believers to support and encourage you.

The song "Even If" (by the Christian band MercyMe) resonates with me, as it is based on Daniel 3:18, which is etched in my heart. As you face fear, may this be the posture of your heart as well. Take a listen below, and let your heart be encouraged!

Listen To The Song!

Read More on the Berean Blog:

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